In the fall Dan and I bought a Groupon for a two night stay in a rural bed and breakfast about 45 minutes outside of Cuenca, Spain. Cuenca was on the list of four or five cities near Madrid that my roommate Eva had given me when I first arrived (by the way, I’ve visited all of them now!). Being half way between here and Valencia, it was about a two hour drive, so we decided this Groupon would be perfect for devoting a weekend to this small city.
Knowing ourselves, we booked the trip for a few weeks after we had started work with anticipation of how nice a weekend of r&r would feel. We spent a lot of time driving through the country side of Castilla – La Mancha, the province where Cuenca is located. It was absolutely gorgeous and full of green rolling hills and steep stone canyons. It was such a contrast to the landscape of La Rioja, where I was just a few days before, but they were both beautiful in their own ways.
The house we stayed in was really cute and was in a small town that, I kid you not, did not even have a convenience store or a bar. The owners were so kind, so we decided to take them up on their offer of a barbecue dinner on Saturday night, which was delicious! Other than that, we enjoyed Castilla – La Mancha delicacies like wild boar, Castillan soup, red wines and manchego cheese. We also stopped in the adorable bakery Ruiz I had read about on Lonely Planet, but since we couldn’t decide what looked best we got one of everything to share, haha!
On Saturday we explored the historic part of Cuenca after lunch at this amazing restaurant, including the Plaza Mayor, Cathedral, quite a few lookouts over the mountains & newer parts of the city, and the casas colgadas. The casas colgadas or “hanging houses” literally appear to be hanging off of the cliffs on either side of the historic part of Cuenca. They’re so surreal looking and I’m still confused about how they actually stay up, even after exploring the Spanish Abstract Art Museum, which is actually housed in one of them!
On Sunday, we drove north of Cuenca to see the Ciudad Encantada, or Enchanted City, which is filled with crazy natural rock formations that used to be all covered by water. It was really awesome, and it felt so great to be outside in the woods, something I really haven’t done since I left the US. We also stumbled upon quite a few beautiful lookouts on the side of the road into canyons and rivers, which were absolutely stunning.
After a delicious lunch in Plaza Mayor (with a few scattered showers here and there to keep it interesting), we headed home. It was such a relaxing weekend away; I’m so happy we had purchased that Groupon so long ago! Hope you guys enjoy my photos of the trip. Ciao, amores:)